Scores

Final

(2) South Florida 27

(6-1, 2-1 away)

Rutgers 30

(5-2, 4-2 home)

Coverage: ESPN

7:30 PM ET, October 18, 2007

High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway, NJ

1 2 3 4 T
#2USF 10 7 3 727
RUTG 3 10 14 330

Top Performers

Passing: M. Teel (RUTG) - 179 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: R. Rice (RUTG) - 39 CAR, 181 YDS

Receiving: T. Underwood (RUTG) - 5 REC, 114 YDS, 2 TD

Trick play, Rice's running leads Rutgers' upset of No. 2 USF

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- South Florida slogged off the field in the midst of another Rutgers celebration, white and green dots in a sea of red.

The second-ranked Bulls' unexpected ascent into college football's elite had been snarled by a team that's getting good at taking out national title contenders.

Third-string quarterback Andrew DePaola threw a 15-yard touchdown pass off a fake field goal to give the Scarlet Knights the lead in the third quarter and Rutgers also used a fake punt to set up an early field goal in its 30-27 victory Thursday night.

Ray Rice provided a more conventional 181 yards on 39 carries for Rutgers (5-2, 2-1 Big East) and Mike Teel threw two touchdown passes to Tiquan Underwood.

An Upsetting Season
USF Bulls

Rutgers' 30-27 win over No. 2 South Florida on Thursday wasn't the first time this season a team ranked in the top 3 of the Associated Press poll lost. Four other teams this season have lost after acheiving a top 3 ranking in the AP poll.

Date Team Opponent
Oct. 19 No. 2 South Florida at Rutgers
Oct. 13 No. 2 California vs. Oregon State
Oct. 13 No. 1 LSU at Kentucky
Oct. 6 No. 2 USC vs. Stanford
Sept. 29 No. 3 Oklahoma at Colorado

"We just went out there and played our best football," Rice said.

South Florida became the third No. 2 team to lose in the last three weeks.

"I thought we had a chip on our shoulders tonight," Bulls cornerback Trae Williams said. "That we would prove something to the nation. That we are deserving of the ranking. Obviously, we didn't get it done tonight."

The Bulls (6-1, 1-1) had their eight-game winning streak come to an end, no doubt to the delight of Boston College, LSU, Oklahoma and the rest of the teams hoping to grab the second spot in the BCS standings USF held this week.

Matt Grothe threw for 247 yards and a touchdown and ran for 58 yards, but Rutgers' defense swarmed South Florida's multitalented quarterback in the second half and sacked him seven times in the game.

A week after No. 2 California lost to Oregon State and two weeks after then-No. 2 Southern California was upset by Stanford, the Bulls became the 11th top-10 team to fall to an unranked opponent this season. There are five undefeated teams left in major college football.

"Personally, rankings don't mean that much when you're on the field," Bulls receiver Marcus Edwards said. "All that stuff goes out the window. It comes down to who scores the most points and they scored more than we did tonight."

Rutgers, which started the season ranked 16th but fell out after two straight losses last month, might not be unranked much longer.

Jeremy Ito lined a career-long 51 yard field with 11:59 left in the fourth quarter to give Rutgers a 30-20 lead.

Grothe's gang wasn't done. He led the Bulls on a 70-yard touchdown drive that Mike Ford capped with a 1-yard run with 9:16 left to make it 30-27.

When USF linebacker Ben Moffitt recovered Rice's fumble near midfield with 4:11 left, the Bulls were in business at the Rutgers 40. But Brandon Renkart sacked Grothe on the first play, and the Bulls were forced to punt.

"We had the ball at the 50, down by three and their defense came up to play," USF coach Jim Leavitt said. "Give them credit. Give them a lot of credit. They did it twice."

Rutgers was unable to kill the clock and the Bulls got one more shot to keep their perfect season alive, starting at the Rutgers 49.

On the first play, freshman Joe Lefeged came on a safety blitz and sacked Grothe from the blind side. On fourth-and-22, Amarri Jackson caught a pass down the sideline beyond the first-down marker, but the play was wiped out by an offensive pass interference call because the receiver pushed off.

The last gasp came on a fourth-and-37 from the Rutgers 24. Grothe heaved a desperation pass into traffic and Rutgers defensive back Zaire Kitchen intercepted.

For the second straight season Rutgers came up with a huge victory on a Thursday night at home. Last year it was then-No. 3 Louisville, at the time the highest-ranked opponent Rutgers had ever beaten.

Not anymore. This win set off another party on the field, though not quite as wild as last year's after beating Louisville.

After reaching the rankings for first time in the 11-year history of South Florida football earlier this season, the Bulls shot up the charts behind a quick and hard-hitting defense and Grothe's dynamic playmaking.

In this topsy-turvy season, the Bulls' national title hopes can't quite be put to rest. But they took a major hit.

The Scarlet Knights, last season's surprise team from the Big East, gave their season a much-needed jolt.

With Rutgers up 20-17 midway through the third quarter, Rutgers defensive back Devin McCourty blocked a field goal to preserve the lead.

Rice and Teel responded with a drive that stalled at the USF 15. Ito came out to attempt a 32-yard field goal, but Rutgers coach Greg Schiano had something else in mind.

"We haven't done a lot of that around here," Schiano said. "Thank God it worked."

DePaola, the holder, took the snap and rolled right, barely avoiding a sack, and floated his first career pass into the outstretched arms of Kevin Brock. The tight end scooted into the end zone with 4:09 left in the third to give Rutgers a 27-17 lead.

"We run it in practice a lot," DePaola said. "When they called it I just said, `All right let's go execute it like in practice. It's no different.' "

Rutgers used a trick play on its first drive, too.

Ito lined up to punt but instead lofted a perfect pass over a USF defender to James Townsend for a 36-yard gain to the Bulls 13. That set up Ito's 26-yard field goal.

Rutgers scored more points than any team had against USF this season and kept defensive end George Selvie, the nation's leader with 11.5 sacks, away from Teel.

USF hadn't allowed a runner to reach 100 yards in the 14 games since Rice went for 202 in the Scarlet Knights' 22-20 win last year. Rice had 94 at halftime Thursday night.

"When my number's called," Rice said, "I'm going to do whatever it takes."

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Team Stat Comparison

 
USF
RUTG
1st Downs2018
Total Yards362400
Passing247230
Rushing115170
Penalties10-995-40
3rd Down Conversions2-146-16
4th Down Conversions0-12-2
Turnovers13
Possession28:3731:23

Passing Leaders

South FloridaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Grothe17/342477.311
RutgersC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Teel11/291796.220

Rushing Leaders

South FloridaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Grothe18583.2119
Williams11444.0015
RutgersCARYDSAVGTDLG
Rice391814.6033
Team2-5-2.500

Receiving Leaders

South FloridaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Hester35518.3128
Bogan35217.3026
RutgersRECYDSAVGTDLG
Underwood511422.8269
Townsend13636.0036

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERUSFRUTG
FG10:08Jeremy Ito 26 Yd
Drive: 12 plays, 72 yds, 4:52
03
FG06:27Delbert Alvarado 47 Yd
Drive: 8 plays, 34 yds, 3:35
33
TD03:58Matt Grothe 18 Yd Run (Delbert Alvarado Kick)
Drive: 5 plays, 57 yds, 1:31
103
SECOND QUARTERUSFRUTG
TD13:02Tiquan Underwood 3 Yd Pass From Mike Teel (Jeremy Ito Kick)
Drive: 13 plays, 73 yds, 5:56
1010
TD07:10Jessie Hester 28 Yd Pass From Matt Grothe (Delbert Alvarado Kick)
Drive: 1 plays, 18 yds, :21
1710
FG00:05Jeremy Ito 40 Yd
Drive: 10 plays, 48 yds, 1:01
1713
THIRD QUARTERUSFRUTG
TD12:02Tiquan Underwood 69 Yd Pass From Mike Teel (Jeremy Ito Kick)
Drive: 3 plays, 75 yds, 1:25
1720
TD04:09Kevin Brock 15 Yd Pass From Andrew Depaola (Jeremy Ito Kick)
Drive: 9 plays, 70 yds, 4:45
1727
FG01:26Delbert Alvarado 34 Yd
Drive: 10 plays, 62 yds, 2:43
2027
FOURTH QUARTERUSFRUTG
FG11:59Jeremy Ito 51 Yd
Drive: 4 plays, 5 yds, :50
2030
TD09:16Mike Ford 1 Yd Run (Delbert Alvarado Kick)
Drive: 8 plays, 70 yds, 2:43
2730